December 31, 2011

The Seventeen Days of Bowl Week




The first seven or eight days of Bowl Week are pretty okay, but the last four this year are totally balls-to-the-wall with non-stop College Football action from dawn to dusk. Even having spent most of yesterday half-asleep and completely non-lucid with some mysterious illness, there’s still plenty of time to indulge myself in the giant hornswoggle that is the College Football post season.

Don’t worry about me, dear readers. I heal at about the same rate as James “Logan” Howlet, so I’m already as good as new and better than most. All it takes is a lot of sleep and a few herbs, and I’m A-OK.

Well, it was actually just one herb. The picks this week? These are piping-hot pushes if I’ve ever seen them. And I have. (I’ve been to R.J.’s house a bunch of times.)

Bills v. Patriots OVER (50)
Jeez, this number should be closer to 100 than to 50. Prediction: 48-35.

49ers v. Rams UNDER (35)
...and this should be a lot closer to 1 than to 35. Prediction: 13-0.

CHIEFS (+3) v. Broncos
Supposedly Tebow is an alternate to the Pro Bowl, which is a supremely high honor considering he’s about the tenth or eleventh best quarterback in the conference, not counting injured players, naturally... Talk about a hornswaggle. Has a player this mediocre ever been pushed so forcefully down our throats? Even if the Broncos manage to back into the playoffs, it will have been against a last-place schedule in the worst division in the league.

Wisconsin v. OREGON (-6)
I was thinking I’d be giving up a few less points, but this is still a solid pick.

Stanford v. OKLAHOMA ST. (-4)
As much as I would love to ride Andrew “Horsebeef” Luck all the way to the end, Oklahoma State is the tits this year., 10:51 AM MST, Saturday

Robb Witmer Full spends most of Bowl Week in a bunker he calls the PushMaster Command Center, with Twitter as his only contact with the outside world.

December 22, 2011

The Spirit of the Holiday



I’m a pretty smart guy. I read books, and often understand what I’m reading. I can think my way out of a jam, build things without instructions, and run a world-class football pool with only a dozen well-trained monkeys to help me.

When it comes to wrapping Christmas presents, however, I’m a complete hack. The three ten-packs of socks that I got for myself look like I took some perfectly-wrapped presents and ran them through the dishwasher. The square stuff looks better, but still not good.

In the Spirit of the Holiday, I’m keeping it short this week. So, dear readers, the hours upon hours you normally use to comb through my weekly essays looking for golden nuggets on the American Dream or the next trend in fashionable word-play, how’s about spending that time with your goddamn families.

These picks just ooze with Pushiness. I expect at least two this week.

NEVADA (+8) v. Southern Miss
Tebow v. YINZSTACHIO (+3)
Dolphins v. PATRIOTS (-10)
BROWNS (+13) v. Ravens
EAGLES (+3) v. Cowboys

Lines from, which is definitely NOT Bodog, and thus should not be held accountable for any laws Bodog may or may not have broken. 7:27 PM MST, Thursday.

Robb Witmer Full is the Christmas Spirit correspondent for SPORTS-THRUST!! For up-to-the-second wit, follow his Twitter account.

December 15, 2011

Where Have You Gone, Ol' Yinzstachio?




“Yinzstachio had many faults as a coach, but Pitt will probably get an even bigger dumb-fuck this time around.” —Me, December 7, 2011
Two dumb-fucks later, the best you could say about the post-Yinzstachio era at Pitt is that it has been eventful. Next thing you know, Walt Harris is going to sell his chipped-horsebeef cart that he wheels around downtown Bozeman, MT, and set forth to try to restore the Panthers to glory.

The rumor swirling around the PushMaster Command Center is that in the next few days Johnny Majors will be driving his whiskeymobile up to Heinz Field to be introduced as the next head coach at Pitt. Whiskey will be named defensive coordinator. Walt Harris is the second choice.

Oh, Todd Graham, Pitt hardly knew ye. What looked like a decent hire after the Mike Haywood debacle has turned out to be a total waste of a year for the Pitt football program. Not that most of them aren’t.

Even this season’s highlights turned out to be rather low-octane for Pitt, such as a 44-17 drubbing of top-20 South Florida. The Bulls, of course, finished with a 5-7 record, 1-6 (!) in the Big East, the worst major college football conference of the last 50 years.

If Graham had left for a big-time job this would be less of a slap in the face to Pitt. But his destination is Arizona State, which has been a Pac-10/12 also-ran since Jake Plummer left. The word that he was poking around about the Kansas and Texas A&M jobs goes to show what Graham’s prime directive really was: get the hell out.

Pitt will now be on their fourth head coach in about a year, a glowing reminder that they’ve been a second-rate football program for over three decades. Graham surely realized this. I’m guessing he never bothered to unpack his suitcase. He was probably on his cell phone, working on getting his next job, while he was waiting for his introductory press conference to start.

By almost every measure, ASU is a major upgrade for Graham, and not just for the sunshine. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a dick move. A dick move Pitt should have seen coming from the coach with the sweatiest face in Football.

It is understandable why Steve Pederson and company are a little butt-hurt, but Pitt was desperate when they hired Graham. They needed a warm body to fill the head coach position, and that’s what they got. A warm, sweaty body.

By the end of the season, it was obvious he didn’t want to be there. The fans hated him, the media hated him, the team sucked. Where exactly was the Todd Graham era headed anyway?

I’m probably not the only one wishing for a Yinzstachio-ride right now.

Panthers v. TEXANS (-6.5)
Man, it’s a lot harder to get a complete set of whole-numbered spreads that I actually like with only NFL games to chose from. Oh well, if anyone can pull a push out of his ass with a six-and-a-half point spread it’s T.J. Yates. It’s hard to put into words how magical Yates is. The game is never over when he’s behind center. His teams never stop believing, even when it looks hopeless. And don’t be fooled by his ability to throw the ball down the field, it’s only masking his one true skill: Winning.

Lions v. Raiders OVER (48)
This is shaping up to be a game between two teams that kind of don’t care anymore. I look for a lot of touchdowns to be scored while the defenses aren’t paying attention, or by interception return (Carson Palmer: minimum of 3 pick-sixes in this game), or maybe a whole bunch of safeties.

JETS (+3) v. Eagles
Look, I’m no fan of the Jets, and I certainly don’t think they’re an elite team this year, but how are they underdogs? Do the Eagles have some sort of magic Dream Team beans? This is what we call Free Points.

Broncos v. PATRIOTS (-6) UNDER (46)
Last week the Broncos went to overtime against a team with a bus driver at quarterback; that stopped calling plays in the fourth quarter; that played a 30-yard prevent defense against an opposing quarterback who can only throw it 25; and with a running back who had two different chances to basically win the game by falling on his ass, and did it neither time. (Taking the extra half-point cost me a push, be damned!) The Patriots don’t seem to have much of a defense, but it probably won’t matter. At the very least, they’re less likely to give away the game like Chicago did.

This week’s spreads come to you courtesy of the wonderful folks over at at 3:25 PM MST on Wednesday. Head on over there to pick up some great Christmas gifts for your family, like that Over on the Cowboys game that Dad’s always wanted, or the Colt’s-Browns teaser that Grandma pretends like she doesn’t need.

Robb Witmer Full is the Yinzstachio-ride operator at the SPORTS-THRUST theme park, THRUST-WORLD!! You can hear how he denies short people entry on Twitter.

December 9, 2011

Brilliant Like a Horse




I’m just now managing to collect myself from what was quite the bender, spending nearly four days celebrating my glorious 3-2 record of last week, thus hanging onto my last shred of dignity for at least seven more days.

The only way to commemorate such a momentous occasion was, naturally, a tour of Horsebeef Country, USA, now that horse meat is once again legal for human consumption.

Yes, that trip was as crazy as it sounds. My shirtless friend Beef (irony!) and I plowed through at least two horses apiece during our three-day excursion, and the appropriate amount of cheap American lager to wash it down. If you’ve never had deep-fried horse legs, I suggest — no, I demand that you go immediately to the Deep Plains of Nebraska and get yourself a bucket of those mouth-watering meat sticks.

Well, enough about horsebeef. For now anyways. We have an honest-to-god Sports Disaster taking place before our very eyes! The current BCS system AS WE KNOW IT may well be coming apart at the seams. Brace yourselves, America.

The BCS falls several notches below horsebeef on my personal list of likes, so if it collapses once and for all, we should all be better for it. But what are we getting in its place? Playoffs? The old bowl system? Horse-leg eating-competitions between head coaches (my preference)?

We all know the current system is fucked. It’s like a 10-team playoff with only one round. It’s completely pointless and does a somehow-lamer job of giving us what we’re told is a National Champion.

The old bowl system may have been pointless, but at least it was pointless with a purpose. It had style, tradition, a certain elegance in its clumsiness. The games themselves were as senseless as the bowls are now, but at least there were less of them.

It’s not hard to see what trick they’re up to. The big dogs in the fight for all the College Football money are tired of a Boise State or TCU sneaking in and getting what is rightfully theirs. And, even more offensively, the Big East is GUARANTEED a spot in a big-time, big money game. That shit can’t last.

Who wants to take bets as to whether San Diego State or Boise State ever play a game in the Big East? Or whether the Big East will even exist as a football conference beyond 2014? The way it’s looking now, it’s likely to be broken up using domestic terrorism laws in order to protect all Sports Fans from lifelong trauma.

Thanks to various lawsuits and congressional inquiries, the BCS can’t just kick the Big East out on their asses where they belong without adding another shit-ball conference, so now they’re looking to fake their own death in order to collect the TV money all for themselves.

It’s brilliant. Brilliant like a horse.

COLT’S BAR & DANCE-HALL (+17) v. Ravens
Speaking of horses, is it crazy to think that the Colt’s will win this one? Kind of, but we know the Ravens are capable of losing it. With the seventeen points, and with Dan Orlovsky, this is money in the bank. As for what kind of money, ask Cochran. He’s the one who drew it for me.

Falcons v. PANTHERS (+3)
You don’t just waltz into Carolina and get a victory. Not today. Not ever.

PATRIOTS (-9) v. Redskins
This is usually the point in the season where the ‘Skins have given up on life, and thus, the season. My prediction of Charlie Weis being the 2012 Redskins coach won’t pan out thanks to recent events, so it looks like it’s Art Shell’s job to lose.

TEXANS (+3) v. Bengals
The aforementioned Mr. Beef has recently sent me mail that was properly postaged, correctly addressed, expertly mailed, but still never arrived, and was inexplicably returned to him. This made me think about the mailman situation around the neighborhood, and I realized that it wasn’t too long ago that we got a new mailman. This new guy is clearly still learning the ropes, and I hold out hope that he’s going to be the best goddamned mailman I’ve ever had, but it finally hit me today what happened to the last guy: He’s playing quarterback for the Texans.

BEARS (+3.5) v. Broncos
“There’s no way in hell that no matter how [Tebow] plays, or how successful his teams are, he won't be overrated and overexposed.” —Me, October 21, 2011

“Tebow might be a true revelation” —Headline on, December 5, 2011
On another note, the Bears are turning into a joke, and a hilarious one at that. The rumors around here are that Brett Favre AND Bo Jackson are staging comebacks in order to lead Chicago to a Wild Card playoff loss. This is the week, however, that I think the Broncos learn that luck is not a skill.

Maybe Tebow’s real miracle is that every team he plays against is a complete disaster in one way or another. Look for a major injury to Tom Brady this week, in other words. Q: If the Broncos lose their last four games, will the Tebow narrative become that he “finds ways to lose?” A: No, it’s probably Willis McGahee’s fault.

Locally-grown lines hand-picked from at 2:14 PM MST on Thursday afternoon.

Robb Witmer Full does not often have problems with his mail delivery, but when he does, you can be sure he'll Tweet about it like it's the end of the world.

December 3, 2011

Murder Coin!!




Going 0-5-0 in Week Twelve of the PushMaster Invitational not only completely ended the author’s chances of finishing in the money in the Internet’s most exclusive Football picks league, but also sent his winning percentage for the season to depths hardly seen in the Invitational’s long and exquisite history.

Ugh. What a season, eh? I can’t say for sure what’s happened to me and my Football pickery this year. I’m not this horrible, I swear. I have a lifetime record over fifty percent! That’s winning!

But this season’s 38.6% is rather deflating, for both my picking confidence and my swagger... Forget any and all goals I’ve set for myself this season — first place, finishing in the money, surpassing R.J.’s lifetime winning percentage, even the PushMaster crown — now I’m just trying to salvage a smidge of dignity.

Sitting below 39% after sixty picks, for a player who’s made all five picks every single week, that has to be a record for PushMaster futility, no? I’m putting it to R.J., the official PushMaster statistician, to find out for sure.

To be honest, my strategy for this year has been a hodgepodge of pure bull-shit, hog-wash and lunaticery, so I only have myself to blame. I truly thought I could get by simply on good looks and charm, with a dash of wit thrown in as a garnish.

Instead, I got a harsh reminder that the PushMaster Invitational is the gruffest bitch around.

New Mexico v. BOISE STATE (-49)
...because this is really the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Laying seven touchdowns, while being the clear sign of a madman, is also an overt cry for help. But knowing you bastards, we’re more likely to get a commemorative coin in honor of a murder before that help ever comes... Oh, wait, that's already happened.

Virginia Tech v. CLEMSON (+7)
Taking Clemson plus seven against Virginia Tech was one of my few victories this year, so I’m going with the exact same pick in the rematch. These teams are on opposite trajectories, so at first glance this seems like a stupid pick, but methinks Clemson will hang in and at least keep it close.

COLT’S BAR & DANCE-HALL (+20) v. Patriots
It’s always a goal of mine to pick more NFL games than College, mostly because I hate watching any Professional Football that doesn’t involve the Pittsburgh Steelers. That way I won’t let my emotions (read: rage) get in the way of my point-spread opinions. The problem is that I, like most Serious Sports Fans, thrive on rage and am addicted to it like it’s some sort of emotional adrenaline shot to the heart, so I can’t help myself from picking College games that might be fun to watch. Consider this week a step in the right direction on that front...

Speaking of rage, I haven’t been able to direct much toward the Colts — er, Colt’s — this season, what with their general lameness in seemingly every aspect of the game. I still think they’re going to win a game or two — it’s the NFL damnit. This isn’t likely to be the one, but in the name of Professionality the boys of everyone’s favorite gay bar and dance-hall will manage to only be slightly embarrassed by the Pats, who will probably start nodding off at halftime from sheer boredom.

Broncos v. VIKINGS (-1)
The Broncos have managed to have some success the past few weeks, despite playing without a quarterback, thanks to some great play by their offensive line and defense. The Vikes cut McNabb earlier this week, which is worth three points on its own, plus the two points playing against Tebow is worth. This is what we call VALUE, people! Pay attention! [Author’s note: If you know what’s good for you, you won’t pay attention to this claptrap.] I was going to look up who the quarterback for the Vikings is before I realized that I don’t give a shit.

Lions v. SAINTS (-9)
The Saints are getting into a groove just as the Lions start to implode. In other news, I predict the Giants will beat the Packers this week. I was going to pick them, but I completely forgot about that game until right now. (read: bet your house on the Packers)

Spreads courtesy of MGM-Mirage-Exxon-Mobil, 11:29 PM MST, Thursday

Robb Witmer Full is about two 1-4 weeks away from being locked up for good in either the William J. Lepetomaine Hospital for the Gamblingly Insane or the Dr. Clayton Forrester Shock Therapy Institute. Get up-to-the-second updates of his mental health on Twitter.

November 24, 2011

Tim Tebow and the Scourge of Fantasy Football




“This game is setting football back 50 years, offensive play calling 40 years, and soccer back 20 years.” -Steve Braband, on Twitter, during last week’s Jets/Broncos matchup
It’s funny, I don’t remember the media working themselves up into a tizzy over Ronnie Brown circa the Miami Wildcat days about whether or not he was going to make it as an NFL quarterback, but here we are with Tim Tebow running the same offense, not as successfully, with about the same amount of passing ability and less running ability as Brown, having to hear about how he could be the one to finally lead the Broncos back to the Promised Land, to the top of Mount Elway.

Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting Tebow is Different. Special.

Tebow is averaging, in his five starts, about 105 yards passing. That is bad. Now, I don’t think stats are necessarily the end-all-be-all in football, but if you believe that Tebow is destined for NFL greatness -- or even averageness -- then you believe that in a league in which every rule change and tendency of the last ten years has been to favor high-octane passing games, there is room to excel for a quarterback who can’t throw.

If that isn’t blind faith, I don’t know what is. So it makes sense that he’s a fan favorite of the Jesus crowd. Both disciplines require a belief in something for which there is absolutely no evidence of.

Just like the Jesus people largely ignore what Jesus actually (supposedly) said, Tebowites are amazingly able to completely ignore anything that happens on the field, selectively choosing a play or two out of context and claiming it means Tebow is a “winner,” or a “leader.”

Do you think, for instance, that if Mark Sanchez had gotten the ball back last Thursday night with a minute left and led the Jets to a game-winning touchdown that the Tebowites would have become Sanchez disciples? Would that have made Tebow a loser?

The truth is, no quarterback has less of an impact on his team’s fortunes right now than Tebow. They are using the strategy made famous by Yinzstachio’s Pitt teams: Make no effort to score, keep the game slow and ugly, hopefully close, and try to get lucky in the final five minutes.

It didn’t work out too well in Pittsburgh, and it will end up even worse for the Broncos. That is no way to win consistently in Major College Football, and certainly not in the NFL.

Some of Tebow’s popularity must have something to do with Fantasy Football stats. FF is Idiot America’s way of following our National Pastime without having to know anything, or even care, about the sport. And there is an unsurprising correlation with Idiot America as a whole and Tebow Nation.

Fantasy Football is scourge on Sports that threatens to drown out Real Fans forever. Thanks to FF, we’ve had to endure arguments from otherwise reasonable people that Peyton Manning, the most uncreative player in NFL history, is the best quarterback ever, despite empirical evidence that he’s been no better than the third best quarterback in his own CONFERENCE for at least the last six years.

The average Fantasy Footballer will look at their league scoring and see Manning’s name at the top and think it means something. They don’t have to watch any games, or know that when things start to deviate from what is expected he crumbles like a cookie. All that matters is that he gets the most Fantasy points, so he is the best.

Having to hear over and over again that Manning is the best ever, or Tebow has a chance to ever be a better than middling quarterback is like being told that Kim Kardashian is famous: It’s only true if you believe it first.

...As for my picks this week, it was another sad struggle. I couldn’t line up a set of whole-numbered spreads, for one, giving me only three Push opportunities, or “Pushtunities.” The actual picks? I hate them. I want to tie them up in a bag full of cats and drown them in the river.

Looks like another 1-4 week, if I’m lucky. Anyone want to join me in my Shame Hole?

Packers v. Lions OVER (55.5)
Aren’t there about 70 points scored in any given Lions or Packers game this year? According to my recreationally-ravaged memory, yes. My track record on picking Thanksgiving NFL games is pretty awful, so I suppose I shouldn't hold out much hope for this one.

Texas v. TEXAS A&M (-7.5)
If I said I know why I’m picking this, I would be lying.

Louisville v. South Florida UNDER (43)
This is going to be an absolute suck-fest, a ride on the Suck Bus, a journey deep into far reaches of the suckiverse. In other words, it is the quintessential Big East match-up.

Georgia v. GEORGIA TECH (+6)
I haven’t paid attention to ACC football at all this year (by design), and anyone who’s not LSU or Alabama gets drowned out in the SEC. What better time to catch up with all these old friends than Thanksgiving weekend? Maybe their birthdays.

Clemson v. South Carolina OVER (50)
Wow. I made these picks about thirty-six hours prior to getting around to writing this, and I’m dumbfounded as to why I picked this. Did I have some fleeting hankering to watch this game? I guess it seems like an Over..., 11:36 PM MST, Tuesday, Goddamned right.

Robb Witmer Full is the Tim Tebow correspondent for SPORTS-THRUST!! Follow his second-rate material on Twitter.

November 17, 2011

Horsebeef Meme




After going on a run of 15-9-1 to get himself back into the thick of things in the PushMaster Invitational, the most exclusive football pool in the history of the Interwebs, the author’s Week Ten mark of 1-4-0 sank him into a tie for twenty-second place out of twenty-five Players.

While this effectively ends his bid for a second Invitational Championship, he remains in the lead for the title of PushMaster, bestowed upon the Player with the most number of Pushes for the season.

I’m afraid it’s time to admit it’s over, that the dream is dead. In a make or break week, I sputter out a 1-4 record and slip into Invitational oblivion. Last week was my Tim Tebow pass to the flat: elbow-first and floaty.

There comes a time in almost every player’s season when it becomes more of an extended requiem than a race to victory. For serious Players it’s like watching, helplessly paralyzed, as the vultures overhead swoop down and eat you alive, feet first, all the way up to the brain.

Not to be melodramatic. There are still things to play for. The Integrity and Sportsmanship instilled in the Invitational and its Players runs much deeper than a single season, or even monetary winnings. Success can be found in every cranny of the PushMasterverse.

Going for the PushMaster crown goes without saying. Not only is it the only conceivable way to make a little Football Dough this year, the Glory associated with it is second only to that reserved for Reality-TV champions, and with far less degradation to go along with it.

And I’ve got RJ in my sight. That’s right, Reej, I’m gunning for you and your monstrous 52.0 lifetime winning percentage. (I am, however, humbled by your thirty lifetime Pushes. You, Sir, are truly a PushMaster!)

My last goal for the year: PushMaster: The Musical!

JETS (-6) v. Broncos
Two completions last week? In a win? There’s no way that’s right. Will someone please re-watch the game tape and count them again. I’m thinking Tebow will have to complete at least three passes to beat the Jets, but that could be asking a lot of the guy. The only way it happens is if the Broncos return to their dump-off based offensive strategy, which worked to perfection against the Dolphins. The Jets are up and down, but you have to think the Defense is licking their proverbial collective chops at the chance to play against a quarterback who can only throw the ball fifteen yards down the field... See how I wrote all that like I watch the NFL or something.

Nebraska v. Michigan OVER (51)
It seems like at least half of Michigan’s offensive possessions end in either an amazing Denard Robinson touchdown, or an embarrassing Denard Robinson turnover. Their games never stop being fun because the ball is always rolling, flying, or bouncing into somebody’s hands... A three-and-a-half point spread means the books are making this out to be about 27-24... I’m thinking more like 45-42.

Lsu v. OLE MISS (+29)
This is a total mis-match, but a four touchdown victory would be enough to satisfy the Tigers, and I’d still get a win, though a twenty-nine point Push would be a tough Nutt to crack. Get it?

Usc v. Oregon UNDER (67)
It feels like Overs are a little played-out these days. I hate how any time you go out to get coffee, or a beer, and the place is filled with ironic mustaches, skinny jeans, and Overs. Fuck all that. My Contrarian roots are starting to grow back out. Plus I lost on two Over picks last week, so fuck ‘em.

Cal v. STANFORD (-18)
If Stanford hadn’t gotten shit-hammered by Oregon last week this number would probably be a smidge higher, rivalry game or not. The Cardinal did get exposed a little last week, but it’s also true that the team that beat them is exceptional, and sometimes that stuff happens. Nevertheless, I did destroy my Andrew “Horsebeef” Luck shrine in the PushMaster Command Center. My messiahs are bound to a strict what-have-you-done-for-me-lately policy., 1:36 PM MST, Wednesday. Can we make “Horsebeef” Andrew Luck’s nickname? It just fits him so well. Wouldn’t it be great if an NFL star had the nickname “Horsebeef,” and that nickname started here, on the PushMaster Invitational? I’m going to need your help, Players. Internet Meme starts......... NOW!!

Robb Witmer Full is the football picks-league corespondent for SPORTS-THRUST!!. If you would like to defend Joe Paterno against his merciless attacks, do so on Twitter. You wouldn’t be the first..

November 10, 2011

Occupy JoePa!!




Anybody want to touch the Penn State game this week? Not me. Not with Cochran’s dick.

The weird thing is, JoePa asked to be part of the PushMaster Invitational this year, and if we hadn’t been smack-up against the Strict Twenty-Five Player Limit, he forshuradly would have been admitted. He seemed to have both the Sportsmanship and the Success required of us, the Select Few. Alas, he turned out to be no better than the goddamn Pope.

Paterno’s best alibi is that he is a bumbling coot that doesn’t really have any idea what’s going on around him -- a believable scenario -- but even that won’t cut it in this case. This is is a prime example of why it’s a good reason to have someone in charge who DOES have some sort of idea of what’s going on around him.

It’s perfectly conceivable, for example, to imagine this sort of thing could have gone on in Bill Stewart’s breakfast nook and he’d have no idea about it, so it’s probably best he’s moved on to greener pastures, literally.

Maybe ol’ JoePa does have a few marbles left upstairs afterall, not that he’d want us to know about them now. That would bring the parallels to the Catholic Church and Penn State Football further into focus.

As I type this, the students in State College are marching in the streets and flipping news vans, supposedly in the name of Paterno and his legacy. But I used to frequent State College around the turn of the century. Not as a student, but more as a, um, let’s say tourist.

In my experience, State College is on the brink of being burned to the ground at every moment the students are in town. I have personally been a part of no less than a dozen riots in and around the campus.

While only a handful involved flipping over news and/or police vehicles, all of them had two big things in common: 1. Fire, and lots of it; and 2. the fact that the riot was about absolutely fucking nothing.

Penn State is just one of those schools where the students like to get Ripping Drunk and toss around a little furniture, maybe some hot-dog carts. That’s just how it is. The fact that two-hundred TV cameras were already in town just made this week’s Wednesday Riot that much more fun.

Not too many of these fuck-heads care whether or not JoePa is fired. Most of them are so blacked-out drunk they won’t remember how raging their night got after 50-cent pitchers down at Shooters.

It’s probably for the best, though. Instead of just embarrassing themselves like usual, they’re managing to embarrass an entire University. With the help, of course, of the media missing the mark. Big surprise.

Oklahoma St. v. Texas Tech OVER (79.5)
Sweet merciful crap, this is a lot of points. As in a touchdown every 5.3 minutes. That’s almost too much to keep up with, but thankfully I plan on drinking two-and-a-half gallons of coffee while I’m watching this game. That will end well.

West Virginia v. Cincinnati OVER (66.5)
The Big East is living down to its potential, which is saying a lot. An interesting play here would be West Virginia, whatever the spread is, since the conference has a long and consistent history of its best team laying an egg the first chance they get. I can’t jump that emotional hurdle this week, so I’ll take Big Points. West Virginia’s defense keeps managing to surprise me with their suckiness, and the offense can keep it together sometimes. Cincy? They just beat Pitt by three. Sounds like they suck.

ARIZONA (-10.5) v. Colorado
The Wildcats are 2-7, with one of those wins coming against Div-1AA Northern Arizona, and they’re on a two-game losing streak, so naturally they are laying ten-and-a-half on the road. Against Colorado this seems reasonable.

Oregon v. STANFORD (-3.5)
I have to take this pick because I’m picking Stanford until they do me wrong, but this one was tough. Ah, what the hell. With the whole Andrew-Luck-is-my-Jesus thing, this will probably be a four-point win for the Cardinal in 75 overtimes. Figure that out.

Ravens v. SEAHAWKS (+7)
This makes no sense, which means it makes GOBS of sense. The Ravens put so much juice into their games against the Steelers that I’m thinking they don’t have enough juice to beat the Seahawks convincingly. The Seahawks don’t have much in the juice department, but how will their juice stack up against the Ravens’ juice? Only the Jesus of Juice knows for sure. [Author’s note: the Jesus of Juice is Wilford Brimley.]

Lines procured from the charming gentlemen (and -ladies, presumably) at, on Tuesday, at eleven of-the-clock, in the PM, during the dawn of this year’s Mountains’ Standard Time.

Robb Witmer Full is at 20-22-3 in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, a football pool which has stood the Tests of Time to remain the Premierest of All! Follow him on Twitter. It's totally worth it.

November 3, 2011

Carving Horse-Shit Into Discobolus




Following a 1-4-0 record in Week Seven of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the author decided to abandon his so-called Strategy of Assery for his Week Eight picks and go back instead to using his superior Football acumen, which has led to one Invitational championship already.

It worked to the tune of a 4-1-0 record, and while he remains deeply entrenched in the bottom-half of the Invitational’s considerably talented pack, the author’s confidence has begun to rise.

Unfortunately, it looks like Big East football is going to find a way to hang on for a few more years, albeit in a very sad iteration. The departing West Virginia is the only perennially competitive program the conference has, and both Pitt and Syracuse have enough history that it always at least seemed like they should, or could, be consistently top-25 teams.

Those three schools were the only reason Big East football has been taken as seriously as it has, which is not very. Losing them should have finally given the conference the Gift of Death that sports enthusiasts all across the country have been praying for.

Not so fast, says John Marinatto. He’s going to carve this lump of horse-shit into the Big East version of Discobolus if it fucking kills him. And it will.

Without Boise State -- which, in my opinion, should run away from the Big East like it has airborne leprosy -- the most impressive program in the conference becomes... Um... Who exactly? Rutgers? Cincinnati? Connecticut? Louisville? South Florida?

Yeah, that’s all that’s left, and those teams have won a grand total of Jack and Shit. South Florida and Connecticut have about twenty combined years of Division 1-A football between them. Any new additions that aren’t named Boise State play in C-USA and its ilk for good reasons.

There is no way in hell this conference should keep its BCS AQ spot. How exactly is a Big East with Boise State that much more prestigious than a WAC or Mountain West with Boise State?

I guess it all comes down to what ESPN thinks about it...

USC (-21) v. Colorado
About once a year, Colorado manages to get up for a game and surprise somebody, but what I’m thinking is that they already had that game when they were competitive with Washington State for almost a whole game. Yeah, this team is that bad. Lane Kiffin will probably be using this game as an opportunity to work out some Personal Bullshit, which he has by the truckful.

Northwestern v. NEBRASKA (-17.5)
Didn’t look into this game or these teams too closely, it just seems like Nebraska should cover this.

STANFORD (-21) v. Oregon St.
Andrew Luck pulled out a miracle cover for me last week, so I’m sticking with my own personal Jesus H. (Horsebeef; little known fact) Christ. If last week’s game isn’t proof that Stanford is on a Mission From God, then I don’t know what is. [Author’s note: There is no God.]

Kansas St. v. Oklahoma St. OVER (69)
Oklahoma St. scores a lot of points, so this pick comes down to whether or not K-State can keep up and stay in this one. Unless it’s a 24-20 type of game, in which case this pick comes down to me being a dumbass.

Broncos v. RAIDERS (-8)
The only thing I’m worried about here is that Tebow gets yanked around half-time or so, giving the Broncos a chance to keep it close. Carson Palmer has had a few more days to remember how to play football, so the Raiders should play better than their last time out. And let’s be honest here, a team doesn’t lose 45-10 just because their quarterback sucks.

Lines courtesy of Caesars-Hilton, 10:58 PM MDT, Wednesday

Robb Witmer Full is on a hot streak now, so look out! Get a peek into his brain, and find out why many call him “The Sensemaker," on the Twitters.

October 25, 2011


By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 25, 2011


The football season is reaching make-or-break time and the author responded by posting a disappointing 1-4-0 record in Week Seven of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, referred to those in the know as simply “The Invitational.”

This put the author in 22nd place out of 25 players and reduced his chances of winning the ultimate Jackpot to roughly that of a Jm J. Bullock comeback that doesn’t involve a reality show about hand-jobs.

To make matters worse, the author’s final game of the week to be decided was Tim Tebow’s comeback win against the Miami Dolphins.

There’s not a lot else that needs to be said, eh? That sign manages to totally sum up the state of our Country and our Culture, but more than that it perfectly encapsulates my PushMaster Season.

A fourteen point favorite getting hammered by almost thirty the other way? That shit is fucked-up. Tim Tebow bringing the Broncos back from a fifteen-point fourth quarter deficit? That shit is bull-shit.

I probably deserved the last one. The brief instant the on-sides kick was between Marlon Moore’s hands was probably as close as the Dolphins will come to a win all year. Wait, do they play the Rams?

Never forget, though, that bad teams cover spreads too. The point spreads are there for a reason, which is to drive me to madness.

A .500 record by mid-point of the PushMaster season is usually a reasonable thing to shoot for if one is to have a chance at the top spot. That means I’ve got to make up six games in fifteen picks before I aim strictly for pushes. That’s a lot of winning. Not sure if I have it in me.

That’s all theoretical anyway. Even if I fire off a 10-4-1 record to break even, then what? This is where the math gets mind-melting. To get over a 60% mark from there would take roughly 33 wins in my last fifty picks, given my current rate of Pushing. That is an insane wining percentage. 43-17-5 in my last sixty-five picks? Good lord.

At least it’s not any dumber than acid-wash.


Michigan St. v. NEBRASKA (-4)
This is a perfect example of a Blown-Load pick, as in Michigan State blasted Wisconsin in the face with a last-second Hail Mary.

Washington St. v. OREGON (-36.5)
The Cougars are supposedly better this year, and yeah, they are, but, considering how bad they were before I fully expect them to be overwhelmed by Oregon in this game.

Colorado v. ARIZONA ST. (-31)
I can’t imagine there’s a BCS conference team that is worse than Colorado. Do any come to mind? This looks like a team that would finish at the bottom of the Big East by a mile. The basketball team is no juggernaut either. I don’t really know what the PAC-10 thought they were getting in CU. The Denver TV market? Believe me, nobody in Denver cares about CU when the team wins ten games per decade.

STANFORD (-7.5) v. Usc
If there is any team that is on a mission from God, it’s Stanford. Which really helps in this game because God hates Lane Kiffin.

LIONS (-3.5) v. Broncos
Tebow is getting all the credit for the Broncos winning last week, but shouldn’t some credit be given to the coaching staff who made the Dump-Off the focal point of their offense in the fourth quarter? It’s the only throw Tebow can make consistently, and the Dolphins had hot-dog vendors on defense by that point... The Lions, well, they’re not exactly playing like a team that I want to be picking right now, and seem like a prime candidate to reel off three or four straight ugly losses. Then again, Ndamukong “Looked it Up” Suh has been waiting to eat Tebow alive for years now. Rumor has it that the Detroit coaching staff plans on strategically starving their defensive line starting on Thursday, setting up a Sunday Jesus Feast., Tuesday, 12:48 PM MDT. By the way everybody, Jeff Memmott friended me on the Facebooks, so he is indeed out there somewhere. Hopefully smiling. If that is not the ultimate proof that SIFUABS, I don’t know what is.

Robb Witmer Full spends his time doing other things besides letting football brain-hump him. It’s not like he's obssessed with it or anything. He’s on Twitter, for instance. That’s a thing.

October 21, 2011

The Age of Tebow

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 21, 2011


In the previous two weeks of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool the author amassed a 7-2-1 record, putting him within three victories of .500, and keeping him in the race for his second Invitational Championship in seven years.

With his confidence growing, and his Gambling Insanity subsiding, the author decided for the third week in a row to make his picks blindly, without knowing the spreads and in some cases not knowing the opponent.

How glorious it was to come home from work last night to find the big, gleaming, shit-smearing face of Tim Tebow looking back at me from the cover of ESPN: The Magazine, a publication I reluctantly enjoy.

Hopefully, in a few weeks the decision to put him on the cover and declaring a new era of professional football that begins this Sunday will look as stupid as devoting the ENTIRE NFL preview issue to Michael Vick (true).

I never understood the Tebow Thing. At all. In college he was good, yeah, but not as good as Pat White, say, but he played for Florida and won a lot, so he’s popular. I get that.

But watching him play football is not exactly the ethereal experience people (read: ESPN) make it out to be. He could run some people over and make some good plays. Okay. That’s cool. White, though? He was electrifying. He made Denard Robinson look like a rube.

What made Tebow the figure he is was The Speech. The one where he yelled at his teammates in the locker room about something. I don’t remember when it was, or what it was about -- because I don’t care -- but I do have vague memories of an almost instantaneous transformation from football player to Deity.

From then on every time Tebow got hit hard on a one-yard gain, or made an above-average throw on an out pattern, it was about Something Else. Tebow’s balls have been in ESPN’s mouth ever since.

What are the chances he becomes an Elite Quarterback? Not good. Chances for stardom? It’s almost guaranteed. It’s already happened.

There’s no way in hell that no matter how he plays, or how successful his teams are, he won't be overrated and overexposed. And so long as he puts up good Fantasy Football numbers, he will be an American Legend.

Tebow is a prime example of one of the myriad reasons I try to ignore professional football as much as possible and direct my football obsessions toward the College Game: At least then you only have to put up with these assholes for four years, tops.


WEST VIRGINIA (-14) v. Syracuse
The Mountaineers’ loss to Syracuse last year was what probably finally doomed Bill Stewart, sending him into exile to his solid-gold stick-whittlin’ hut in the West Virginia mountains. They have no business winning this game by anything less than twenty-eight points, and if this spread isn’t covered I will be calling for the firing of Oliver Luck and Dana Holgorsen within twenty-four hours.

Oklahoma State v. Missouri OVER (69.5)
This way I can roll out of bed, turn on the second half, and have some points to root for while I’m having breakfast.

OVER IN WHICHEVER GAME IS ON ABC IN MY AREA AT 6 P.M. MDT (63) [Washington v. Stanford]
Both of these games looked like Total Picks. I could have gone with Stanford again, but that’s been working out a little too well for me to stay with it. It would make way too much sense, and that, my friends, flies directly in the face of my new Out-of-my-Ass Strategy.

Enough. I’m already sick of this bull-shit.

The last time I picked games like this the Falcons/Over popped into my head, if I remember correctly, and it did again. Not sure if it worked out before, but this time it feels like a solid pick because I checked, they are playing... Come to think of it, wouldn’t the continued success of the Strategy of Assery in a way disprove the strategy itself. PushMasterians, discuss., 2:27 P.M. MDT, Friday, in my pajama pants even though I’ve already been out of the house today and plan on leaving again.

Robb Witmer Full is barely scraping by with a 12-15-3 record in the PushMaster Invitational. Not the worst record, but not exactly surging toward victory either.

October 13, 2011

Go With the Funny Misspelling

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 13, 2011


With the help of Dr. Lou, the author stormed to a 4-1-0 Week Five in the PushMaster Invitational, the bastion of Success and Sportsmanship on the Internet since 1891. The thrustingly successful week put him within striking distance of a .500 record for the first time in a long time.

As I inch back toward respectability, I have to remember what has turned the tide for me: blindly making asinine picks that go against my terribly flawed judgement.

And Dr. Lou, he helped too. I’m still trying to shake off the hangover that proves it. Nothing like a four-day bender to get yourself re-centered and balanced.

This change in strategy was not without struggle. Initially, the thought was to pull a Costanza, to pick the exact opposite of what I think the right play is on a particular game. The biggest problem with this strategy is that you will soon find yourself lost in a maze of Escher stairs and mental rat-traps.

Fuck that. The PushMaster Invitational is tortuous as it is. I’m teetering on the brink of Gambling Insanity (that’s what all the “medicine” is for), and there’s no reason to bring infinity-quicksand into it.

So instead of picking the opposite of something I already can’t figure out, I’m going with the “why-would-I-pick-this?” strategy. It’s not without precedent. That was largely my strategy in ‘06 when I won my first of (probably) many PushMaster Championship Trophies. (I propose we start calling it the Jeff Memmott Trophy. I’ll submit it to the Council of Five.)


Usc v. Cal UNDER (58.5)
I have the night off and am going to be making a wicked batch of homebrewed beer, so I might as well have football on so I have something to throw empty bottles at. Why the Under, you ask? Because it just FEELS stupid. I’ll be rooting for muffed punts all night long.

INDIANA (+40) v. Wisconsin
The only reason I’m picking this is because Cochran called Indiana the Hossiers. Imagine my surprise to find out they are forty point underdogs on the road. Hilarious. With a point spread this high, both sides of it are fucking ridiculous, and in such cases, I say go with the funny misspelling.

STANFORD (-21) v. Washington State
Next, I picked Stanford to balance out the underdog/favorite point-scale. When I saw the spread was only twenty-one, I got worried because it seemed like a good pick. But I suppose my instincts can’t always be wrong... Or can they?

EAGLES (-1.5) v. Redskins
I made my NFL picks without looking at games or point spreads. The Eagles are a total disaster, from what I’ve heard. My Ultimate Theory of NFL Football states that every team is pretty much the same, with minor differences that are also usually kinda similar... Okay, that doesn’t make any sense, but neither does the Eagles being a favorite.

Bills v. GIANTS (-3)
The New Jersey Giants are a total shit-ball team, and they’re playing America’s Darlings, the Buffalo Bills. Again, inexplicably a favorite. If I had let my brain or emotions anywhere near this pick, I would have taken the Bills faster than Ripper on the money side of a glory hole. Instead, I used sheer Assery.

MGM-Mirage, 11:19 AM MDT, Thursday

Robb Witmer Full is now sporting a 9-14-2 record in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, meaning it could really go either way at this point.

October 6, 2011

A Visit With Dr. Lou

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 6, 2011


Four weeks into the football season, the author’s record in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool  perhaps the greatest football pool in the history of the Internet  stood at a paltry 5-13-2, good for 22nd place out of 25 Players.

Seeking council and support, the author used his connections at America-Thrust and within the PushMaster Council to get himself booked as a guest on ESPN’s smash-hit
Dr. Lou program.

While Dr. Lou has recently halted his recreational addiction to intravenous adrenaline shots, he remains on a prescribed regimen of large doses of both Oxycontin and synthetic mescaline, which oftentimes leads to rambling incoherence.

In the event that Dr. Lou’s lucidity is compromised and his material becomes too unintelligible, ESPN’s standards & practices board will scrap the episode completely, destroying every known copy. It is also their practice, however, to transcribe these episodes for preservation in the ESPN Vault, located one-and-a-half leagues below Storrs, CT.

According to expert sources, roughly 75% of
Dr. Lou episodes do not make it past the s&p board, which would explain why an average of only three episodes are broadcast each season. Unfortunately, the author’s episode was one of the many rejects.

Following is a transcript of that episode. All known video copies of the episode have been destroyed. The transcript was obtained through underground sources that run deep into the ESPN empire.


DR. LOU: Well, folks, it looks like another week of college football is upon us. Who knew I would have made it this long? Not me. Nor my credit card company. To hell with those fellas anyway. Wouldn't mind if their balls fell off and into their cup of morning joe.

But hey, Holy Toledo, I have good news. It seems that while I was splitting a hefty sack of yeyo with my old buddy Reeg, I mistakenly agreed to allow a special guest for this episode of Dr. Lou. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem, but the couch is already pretty full of pink giraffes. But here he is, right here to my left, some fella named Bob.

ROBB: Robb.

DR. LOU: Oh, whatever. It’s like they said about Shakespeare: It doesn’t matter how the rose smells, so long as the boat can float. What seems to be the problem, Bub.

ROBB: It’s my football pool, Dr. Lou. Nothing’s going right for me this year. Overs, unders, underdogs, favorites, I’m losing them all. What the fucking hell is going on here? Did I mention I’m losing to a squirrel in my neighborhood pool?

DR. LOU: [laughs] Don’t underestimate the raccoon. He’s still in it.

ROBB: I’m not, but, Doc, can’t you just give me some winners? I’m desperate here.

DR. LOU: That’s not quite what I do, Bubba. Last time I placed a point-spread wager was in a back-alley handball match deep inside the heart of Bangkok, roughly 1933. Lost the shirt off my back and the lint from my pocket. It cost me a few bucks and I spent six months as a sex-slave, but I learned a valuable lesson about childhood.

ROBB: So you’re saying I should...

DR. LOU: Here’s a list of games. Now close your eyes... Good, now point.

ROBB: OREGON (-24)? That’s a lot of points. On a Thursday night game? This can’t be right Doc. I don’t know anything about these teams. I hate this pick already.

DR. LOU: Speaking of hating things, let’s take a phone call from the reigning King of Self-Loathing, my old pal Rich Rodriguez.

RICH-ROD: Hi, Doctor Lou. How’s the syphilis?

DR. LOU: Raging. How’s the taxidermy business?

RICH-ROD: Mostly squirrels these days. It’ll pick up soon. At least it gives me something to do when I’m not in my back-yard burning garbage.

DR. LOU: Rod, we’ve got a young man here looking for a winning football pick this weekend. Now, he seems like a nice enough chap. Why don’t you pull a trick out of your sack.

RICH-ROD: I don’t know who they’re playing, but I’d have to go with MICHIGAN (-7.5). I hear the new coach spends his time on the sidelines doing things besides arguing with ball-boys and pouring Gatorade down his pants. Did you know that during my last ten games there my headset wasn’t connected to anything?

ROBB: Ugh, I hate Michigan, and I just know Denard Robinson is going to fumble away at least two touchdowns. Do I seriously have to make this pick?

DR. LOU: That’s just great Rich. Do you have one more?

RICH-ROD: Um, what about STANFORD (-29.5)? Are they still a team?

ROBB: Dr. Lou, that’s almost thirty points! Plus Stanford’s on a roll, and one thing I don’t do is pick a college team on a roll!

DR. LOU: Shut your eat-hole, son. Sometimes you have to go against your instincts in order to better follow them.

ROBB: Wow, this is like some Mr. Miyagi shit.

RICH-ROD: Hey guys, this has been great, but I’ve gotta go. Someone just threw a flaming couch through my living room window. [hangs up]

ROBB: This sucks, Doc. I mean, I usually hate my picks, but these picks I want to drag behind my car through the desert.

DR. LOU: What did I say about shutting up? Have you seen the lines for the NFL yet this week.

ROBB: No. Hey are these cameras on? We’re taping? I already said ‘fuck’ a couple times I think.

DR. LOU: Okay, without looking, what are the two worst picks of the week?

ROBB: Well, the VIKINGS (-3) are super shitty. You’d have to be a moron to pick them.

DR. LOU: Good...

ROBB: Oh, and the Lions are playing great right now. Going with WHOEVER IS PLAYING THE LIONS (+6) is clearly a bad pick.

DR. LOU: Well, sir, it looks like we have this week’s winners.

ROBB: What? These are my picks? You’ve deceived me, Dr. Lou! I can’t take them back.

DR. LOU: You’ll thank me later. Hey, if you’ve got a little extra time, I’ve got a handful of mescaline. A friend is stopping by in a minute, and we might go out for some tomfoolery.

ROBB: Synthetic?

DR. LOU: Pharmaceutical grade.

[Dr. Lou gives Robb a small pile of mescaline and they both swallow some with water. They high-five.]

DR. LOU: My Oxycontin is around here somewhere...

[Loud tire-screeching can be heard from outside the studio. Robb and Dr. Lou are both startled and turn around quickly to see Regis burst through the door.]

REGIS: Dr. Lou! What the fuck are we waiting for? Let’s go old timer, these strippers aren’t going to snort cocaine off of their own asses!

DR. LOU: Well, Bob, let’s go.

[Dr. Lou and Robb run out of the studio behind Regis, knocking the camera over as they pass it. The video cuts out.]


Robb Witmer Full got these lines from the MGM-Mirage at 12:54 PM MDT on Tuesday, and while he can barely remember his appearance on the Dr. Lou program or making the above picks at all, he remains fairly confident that his luck in the PushMaster Invitational will remain as shitty as ever.

September 28, 2011

The Magic of the Mustache

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 28, 2011


The author followed up two consecutive 1-3-1 weeks with a 1-4-0 performance in Week Three of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the top-notchest Football Pool on the Internet.

While the meager record was somehow enough to drag him out of last place, it also managed to nudge him closer to Gambling Insanity, an affliction for which the author has previously spent extended time in the Dr. Clayton Forrester Shock Therapy Institute.

Sucker-Bet Week indeed.

How else to explain dropping from a whopping 25% winning percentage down to a sub-whopping 23.1, and still vaulting into second-to-last place. I’m getting my confidence back, and have a skip in my step. I’m really moving up in this here PushMaster-verse.

Hmm... PushMasters of the Universe! Sounds like a great toy. Cochran! Wake up, get your people on the phone and get some Chinese factories pumping these babies out for market. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon!

Exploiting Chinese child labor and neo-liberal trade policies is just about the only way I can think of to make back the sweet, sweet PushMaster winnings that I have already spent on sweet, sweet blue-jeans.

Um, no, I didn’t just say that. Say? Write? Type? Did I? Oh, man. This season is kicking my Sanity’s ass. All week I’ve been pacing around the PushMaster Command Center muttering to myself like I’m sure Big East Commissioner John Marinatto has been around his backyard shed, the one where he keeps the voodoo dolls.

The Big East should just disband for the good of football, for the good of the schools that are in it. It would at least be a move against the BCS and the way it is sucking College Football into being NFL Jr.

Just give the whole damn thing up and let the likes of Louisville and Cincinatti roam around the vast dustbowl of college football, turn them back into independent Barn-stormers, looking for a brawl.

And mostly getting the shit kicked out of them, like the Travelling Drunk, a.k.a. the Hobo, a gabby fellow who’s judgement has eroded enough that he never knows when’s he’s about to get a bottle to the noggin.

What the fuck? The Big East will probably give it another go, adding some shit-ball teams to stick into the cracks like chewed-up sugarless gum. Who wants Central Florida? I do, I do!

If that bag of cats can keep the can rolling down the road, then I can too. Let's give it a little more time before we begin Operation Shutdown, Part 2...


SOUTH FLORIDA (-2.5) v. Pitt
Is Yinzstachio coaching for South Florida now? Why is this spread so low? I probably don’t want to know, but I literally can’t help myself from making this pick. My fingers keep typing.... Wait, Yinzstachio is an Assistant Head Coach for the Buffalo Bills? Maybe it’s not the Uniforms, but the Magic of the Mustache.

CLEMSON (+7) v. Virginia Tech
I think I’m making this pick as a way to prove I have not succumbed to Gambling Insanity, because this is clearly a Sane Pick. Only a Gamblingly Insane man can turn down seven points in this match-up. See what I’m saying?

Alabama v. Florida OVER (44.5)
This is going to go Over, right? Florida has Elite Athletes that can put up a fight against ‘Bama’s defense. Right? Guys? At least I haven’t started using a coin, or a dartboard, or the squirrel that lives outside my apartment.

Saints v. Jaguars OVER (46.5)
The worst part is that the squirrel is 10-2-3 in a different picks league he and I are in. It’s a neighborhood league. The raccoon is in last place. Stupid raccoon. Me, I’m smart. I know that the Saints always go Over. Always.

Patriots v. Raiders OVER (55)
The Patriots have also been going over a lot, and the Raiders too... This should work in my favor. Fifty-five is not THAT many points. Ugh, I’m getting a fever, a severe case of Football Fever. I think I may need a visit to the doctor... Dr. Lou, that is., 12:28 Am Mdt, Wednesday

Robb Witmer Full at this point really just wants to finish ahead of the squirrel.

September 21, 2011

Like Jesus in the Summer Olympics

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 21, 2011


The author for the second consecutive week finished at 1-3-1 in the PushMaster Invitational, the Internet’s premier American Football Pick’em. His winning percentage of 25.0% puts him in last place out of twenty-five players.

Jesus Goddamn Mother-fucking Balls.

Sliding into a pit of PushMaster quicksand this early in the season seems like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it could be quite a slog from here on out if I don’t turn things around very, very soon.

Even getting a second Push doesn’t put me in a good position. If I did, however, keep up a pace of one Push per week, I’d be shattering records like Jesus in the Summer Olympics.

For all the Glory involved with the title of PushMaster, the monetary difference betwixt that and First Place is far too much to be ignored. I must Thrust ahead, forward to a jackpot of Earthly Riches.

Onward, warriors! Be not afraid of blood or battle or backdoor covers!


San Diego State v. Michigan OVER (60)
There were so many games that I wanted to pick this week, and that is always a bad sign. One trick I learned from some old dogs is to stick with what works. (Or SWWW, an awkward and totally unnecessary acronym, though it was popularized by an obscure pre-Star Trek Billy Shats police drama entitled SWWW! The title didn’t make a lot of sense in that era, either.) This is all to say that the Michigan Over has been very good to me for a long time, and what the fuck, nothing else is working.

OREGON (-15) v. Arizona
Picking Oregon is like picking Nike, which is like picking Satan. Nothing wrong with that in my Gambling Book. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m in last place, and as desperate as Ripper after two cases of Miller Light at a leather pants convention. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; Oregon is going to score a lot of points. Desert Shitstorm-style points. I think.

LIONS (-3.5) v. Vikings
The Lions look pretty good. The Vikings just fuck things up. I’m not going to be the one to not take this pick.

PATRIOTS (-8) v. Bills
Shit, another road team? This season is making me actually want to fight my picks, in a small, sweaty boxing ring, with people hanging from the nearby rafters, last-fight-in-Bloodsport-style. “Why won’t you cover, Goddamnit!?” Punch! Crush!

...I can dream. In Football reality, I’m thinking that since they’ve covered the last two weeks, the Patriots should be a solid pick, even against my boys, the Buffalo Bills. Uniforms don’t matter THAT much. Gambling Insanity, anyone?

Packers v. Bears OVER (45.5)
Um, I dunno, I just dunno... [cue polite laughter to a very inside joke]., 1:46 PM MDT, Tuesday, getting ‘em in early to shut the voices up in my head a few days sooner.

Robb Witmer Full wouldn't mind smashing his picks in the face with a splintery two-by-four.

September 15, 2011

Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, Hanging Out in Their Underwear

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 15, 2011


The author has for the better part of a decade participated in the Internet’s premier Football picks league, the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the Roster for which is among the most exclusive in the world.

America-Thrust has contracted the author to turn his weekly picks — which can be College Football or Pro, sides or totals — into a regular column. It is our hope to document, in detail, his descent back into the depths of Gambling Insanity, an affliction the author has dealt with for years.

The beat-down administered to Colt’s Bar & Dancehall by the Texans was to be expected. The Colt’s were on a sharp decline well before Peyton Manning’s neck got broke, and as PushMaster Alumni will recall I declared the Colt’s “over” in Week Eight of last year, making it official.

A Peyton-less NFL has been on my wish-list for nigh a decade, so thank-yous are in in order for Santa Claus and his elves for my wonderful early present. There’s just so much less to hate about the league without him and (at least for now) no Brett Favre in sight.

If we’re all lucky, Manning will realize there’s something else to life, and choose to retire to his beach-house filled with bean-bag chairs stuffed with fifty-dollar bills, with him and Favre hanging out together in their underwear all day.

Even with that possibility looming, I can’t be pleased with my Week One performance. Per usual, I started off the season by throwing a bunch of things at the PushMaster wall to see what sticks.

Well, not much did, so I have to start the pot boiling all over again, and now I’m elbows deep in League de Futbal Nationale, a treacherous stew.

This is going to be a curious process, convincing myself that I still know something about professional football. Or should I say professional-er football?


Cardinals v. Redskins OVER (44.5)
I’m going to start with this classic over/under match-up. The Redskins are in a division that’s a lot weaker than people are giving it credit for, so who knows? Maybe they could sneak into the playoff picture. Not very likely but for now they believe it, so I expect them to come out guns blazing. Even if those six-shooters turn into Rex Grossman interceptions, I’m still digging this pick. Plus, the Cards need to validate the Kolb-Fitzgerald duo, and will do so by passing like it’s the cure for cancer. Wouldn't it be weird if it was?

Raiders v. BILLS (-3)
I like the Bills this year, mainly for the uniform change. As for the team? Who cares? The Raiders are mistake-prone, and just pulled out a victory against what might turn out to be one of the league’s worst teams. And who doesn't like picking against a team coming off a short week travelling to the other corner of the country?

PACKERS (-9.5) v. Panthers
Either the public or the Wiseguys have a gigantic boner for Cam Newton, because there is no reason to think the Packers win this game by less than thirty-five points. Maybe the Panthers will get close in garbage time, but I expect Newton to be four interceptions deep by that point, meaning the snowball is already rolling down the mountain.

Rams v. Giants OVER (43.5)
The Rams were kind of a sexy pick at the beginning of this year, then they got drubbed and wounded by the Eagles. They’ve got a real shot in their division, but I can’t talk myself into taking the six points against a team outside of it. The over plays here because the Giants, and especially their defense, are on my list of pre-season candidates for 2011’s shittiest team. They just have that stink about them.

EAGLES (-1.5) v. Falcons
The Falcons are total pretenders. Michael Vick will be really good for ten weeks. In the past, I may have been scared of this pick, but I have conquered my fear and now I am a Man. PushMaster Invitational, beware!, Thursday, 12.15 PM MDT

Robb Witmer Full is 1-3-1 for the season in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, and has a lifetime record of 274-253-18.

September 6, 2011

The Painful Reality of Football Picksdom

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 6, 2011


The author has for the better part of a decade participated in the Internet’s premier Football picks league, the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the Roster for which is among the most exclusive in the world.

America-Thrust has contracted the author to turn his weekly picks — which can be College Football or Pro, sides or totals — into a regular column. It is our hope to document, in detail, his descent back into the depths of Gambling Insanity, an affliction the author has dealt with for years.

Week One in the PushMaster Invitational is like Spring Training for Baseball: Hope springs eternal. We’re all still in it. Everyone’s got a chance.

Yeah, right. It will only be a few weeks, of course, before Sean has given up altogether, or Ripper is mired in a nearly-impossible losing streak that can only be treated with massive doses of Jacob Best, or Cochran starts making English Premier League picks...

The painful reality of Football Picksdom will bite all of us eventually. Those of us that can elude it for long enough will walk away happy enough, maybe a little richer, but certainly not unscathed.

Any season that ends without a complete psychological meltdown is a successful one in my book. You gotta have goals.


The astute PushMaster observer will notice that I’m going with five road teams this week. An experienced PushMaster alumni will know that while this is not necessarily a mis-play, it’s probably a sign of a major flaw in my thinking, glaring to everyone but me... Auburn’s defense wasn’t so great last year, but apparently it didn’t matter. This year, it probably will matter, and they’re my pick for being this year’s Michigan.

TCU (-2) v. Air Force
A really good coach will make sure his team bounces back after a bad loss, and I think TCU’s got a good coach.

SOUTH CAROLINA (-3) v. Georgia
Georgia should sit out the rest of the season as punishment for the uniforms they wore on Saturday. What a goddamn embarassment, not just to Georgia, but to America.

NOTRE DAME (-3.5) v. Michigan
Michigan doesn’t look that much better than they were last year. Denard Robinson is presumably still a turnover machine. Fuck both these teams.

STEELERS (+3) v. Ravens
Hard to not take points in what should always be a pick’em...

Lines from what is apparently now “,” as if that makes it legal now, 8:47 PM MDT, Tuesday.

Robb Witmer Full is more than ready for the inevitable meltdown.

July 28, 2011


By Robinzon Chavez  |  July 28, 2011

Rubber is not at all what it seems. What it seems like is a weird, little, independent revenge flick, in which a tire gains sentience, blows things up with its “mind,” and wreaks havoc in a small town.

That’s sort of what it is, at least partially. That storyline is more like the device that allows writer-director Quentin Dupieux to do some even stranger things with the movie, things that I’m not convinced totally work.

Going into this, I was 100% ready to commit to a tire-on-a-rampage movie. However, Dupieux either wasn’t convinced anyone would accept such a film, had no interest in making such a film, or only had a short-film’s worth of material and wanted to beef it up by making it so fucking meta that it hurts.

What we get to start the whole thing off is the immediate knocking down of the fourth wall, which is never rebuilt for the remainder of the film. A solemn looking guy emerges from the trunk of a car and explains that what we are about to see is an ode to “no reason.”

“No reason” is actually a better explanation of the first scene than it is of a tire becoming violently sentient. Isn’t the intended audience for a movie like Rubber ready to accept strangeness like that?

The first scene comes off as an apology for the rest of movie, as in, “We know there’s no way you could watch a film about a killer tire without being eased into it and lubed up good.”

Maybe Dupieux doesn’t know this, but we’re a little past postmodernism at this point in our culture. The show-within-a-show, or movie-within-a-movie, is now something that’s readily available on Network Television, or in a Redbox kiosk.

Proclamations made after 9/11 that Irony is Dead seemed rather silly in the face of handlebar mustaches, trucker caps, and wolf T-shirts, but there may have been something to it after all.

We now live in an age in which Americans eagerly and genuinely embrace their stupidity, ignorance, or obesity, and our media is fractured and specialized to accommodate the way we already think. Rubber is a movie that may have at one time freaked out a few squares, but now it’s far too easy for those squares to avoid it for their entire life.

Rubber should have been a gory, rough, overexposed tiresploitation flick, but it comes off more as an interesting, well crafted, slightly underdone student film.

This is not to say it’s not an enjoyable movie. The tire in question, supposedly named Robert, does explode quite a few heads, which gives it high marks in my book.

Essentially, Rubber turns out to be a dissection of the film-watching experience, or the film-reviewing experience. Unfortunately, what America needs right now is an unironic, straightforward exploration of a killer tire’s tortured psyche.

Robinzon Chavez understands where the tire is coming from.

July 20, 2011

Pirates Enemy Number One: Milwaukee

By Robb Witmer Full  |  July 20, 2011

“Pirates suddenly relevant in NL Central” - headline on, July 19, 2011

The Pittsburgh Pirates will wake up on the morning of July 20, 2011, in sole possession of first place in the National League Central Division.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will wake up on the morning of July 20, 2011, in sole possession of first place in the National League Central Division.

No matter how many times I type that out, it still doesn’t make any goddamn sense. Yet, here we are. Forget all the talk about a miracle run at a .500 record, the Buccos are about to find themselves right in the thick of an actual pennant race.

By almost any measure, this season has already been a thrusting success. With 67 games remaining, the Pirates only need seven more wins to exceed last year’s total.

This team is certainly capable of second-half collapses (see: well, almost every year for the last decade), but even a record of 26-41 the rest of the way (a 100-loss pace) would put them at 77 wins, more than they’ve had any season this century.

Any Pirates fan not driven to half-mad hallucinations by the past eighteen years of Epic Losing would have given their maxillary first molars for a mere sniff of a winning record this season.

Now it seems as if the dream is coming true without the aide of any black-market dentistry. In the absence of another historic collapse, this team will most likely be playing important games in the last month of the season.

Whether those games come in the form of Chance-to-be-.500, or of the Pennant Race variety is largely up to their Central Division opponents, which is the best thing the Pirates have going for them right now.

Forget about the Astros and the Cubs, who are just this year’s version of the Pirates. The Reds could put up a fight the rest of the year, but methinks they were playing out of their skin in ‘010.

The Cardinals are the clear favorite here. In typical Cardinals fashion, they will be there at the end, and on paper they have the best team from top to bottom. The best the Pirates can do is hang with them for as long as they can and hope things get all loosey-goosey in the last few weeks of the season.

The team that holds the key to the Pirates success, that can and will make or break their season, is the Milwaukee Brewers. If any team has ever had a true nemesis, the Brewers are it for the Bucs. Since 2007, the Pirates are 17-51 against the Crew (that’s a .250 clip), 34 games under .500.

As bad as the Pirates have been over that stretch, they’ve never sunk to those depths for an entire season, which means they were picking up games on everyone else to get up to whatever their miserable winning percentage ended up being.

During the same timeframe, the Brewers are eighteen games over .500, making them an exceptionally below-average team for all those years were it not for their dominance of the Pirates.

With the attention on whether the Pirates need to upgrade at the trading deadline, the real difference in this season will come down to how they perform against the Brewers.

As it is, there is ample room for improvement on the Pirates. Lyle Overbay is making Adam LaRoche look better and better every day, and if a power bat isn’t added at first base, then general manager Neal Huntington will have to find one somewhere and shoehorn it in where he can.

But it won’t matter who’s batting cleanup in this lineup if they continue to find new and exciting ways to lose to the Brewers. As the season series stands now, 5-0 in favor of Milwaukee, the Pirates have already missed some opportunities to put some distance between the two teams, even if it only means taking two of five.

Actually, a forty percent winning percentage against the Brewers would be such a massive improvement that reaching this meager goal could be considered a huge step for the Bucs, especially in their quest for a winning record.

As for a division title? Whew... I don’t think I’m truly ready to think about that. Could any of us handle that sort of reality-warping right now? Maybe after a few hours of sleep.

Robb Witmer Full pays attention to baseball until football exists again.